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Summary: Peruse, wander, find your answer. Or submit a new one through the funnel and we may add your question to this FAQ page.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility means that the system or product is usable by people of all abilities. This website focuses on accessible digital communication, including websites, documents, and even email messages.

I have a question I can’t find the answer to on this site or an internet search. Help?

Submit your question through the Funnel and receive a response from U of M accessibility experts within 3-5 business days. We may feature the answer to your question in a blog post or add it to other content on this website. (To let us know about problems with this website, please send an email to accessu@umn.edu).

I want to learn accessibility best practices. Where do I start?

Start with the 6 core skills of digital accessibility--practices you can implement right now as part of your daily routine at the U.

You also can earn an badge in accessible digital communication through College of Liberal Arts Digital Literacy Project and become an accessibility ambassador.

Whatever you do, you can make a big difference.

What am I required to do for accessibility as part of my job?

Unless you are an instructor with a student who has requested accommodations, the University doesn't have any strict “requirements” for accessibility. That said, we believe that accessibility measures are intrinsically tied to usability measures. That is, anything you do in the name of accessibility benefits everyone, not just people who have disabilities.

How can I request accommodations?

The Disability Resource Center website has information about requesting accommodations.

What is the difference between accessibility and usability?

Accessibility means that the system or product is usable by people of all abilities. Usability refers to how easy and efficient it is for people to use your system or product, measured in terms of attributes like readability, findability, and simplicity.

How do I join the accessibility community?

Take a look at our community page for more information on how to get involved.

What do I need to be thinking about when I’m developing a new website?

The web development section of this site has tools and resources for developers, web designers and content creators.

What do I need to be thinking about when I’m purchasing new software?

You’ll be interested to read: Exploring or adopting a new technology.

A user has asked me for help with their adaptive technology problem. How do I assist them?

You don't have to be an expert! The Computer Accommodations Program is the primary source for information on adaptive technology and its use. However, staff are only available during regular work hours (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, M-F).

Sometimes students using adaptive technologies simply need assistance with commonly used applications such as MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint. 1-HELP can assist with access questions about basic applications.

Helpline: 612-301-HELP (4357)

Walk-in locations and hours

What are adaptive technologies?

Adaptive technologies are screen readers and other text-to-speech applications; screen magnifiers, monochrome and braille displays, text-only web browsers, electronic notetakers, closed caption TVs, scanners that digitize print materials, and Braille displays. This is not an extensive list. Check out the adaptive technologies users section of this website to learn more.

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Get help

Submit your accessibility question for a personal response, and we'll use your question to improve the content of this website.